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Gridley Herald

Bulldogs Walk-off with Share of BVL Title

May 03, 2024 01:16PM ● By Steven Bryla, photos by Steven Bryla
Gridley sophomore outfielder Eli Punzo (4) dives for a fly ball in the Bulldogs’ 7-6 victory over Las Plumas on Friday, April 26.

GRIDLEY, CA (MPG) - The Gridley Bulldogs baseball team clinched a share of the Butte View League title on Friday, April 26, as they defeated the Las Plumas Thunderbirds 7-6 in celebratory fashion.

The victory over Las Plumas secured at minimum that Gridley would be a co-champion as they finished BVL play, and the Thunderbirds who were 5-1 in league play this week still had two games against Orland that were scheduled to be played this week. 

Gridley Las Plumas high school baseball

 Gridley senior outfielder (8) sends a ball to the outfield to eventually win the game against Las Plumas 7-6 on Friday, April 26.

If Orland is successful in getting a league win against Las Plumas this week, the Bulldogs will take the BVL title outright. Regardless, this is the first BVL title for the Gridley program since the 2018 spring season. 

The Bulldogs scored four in the first inning thanks to a couple extra-base hits from junior pitcher Garrett Francis and sophomore infielder Jason Davis Jr. 

Junior infielder Gus Stogsdill added the fourth run on a runs-batted-in (RBI) single. 

Francis pitched a solid first four innings until the Las Plumas bats awoke in the fifth inning and got four runs back to cut the Gridley deficit to one. 

Gridley Garrett Francis Bulldogs Las Plumas

 Gridley junior pitcher Garrett Francis (7) throws a pitch in the Bulldogs’ 7-6 win against Las Plumas on Friday, April 26.

The Thunderbirds took the lead in the top of the seventh after they strung a couple hits together and hit a sacrifice fly to take the lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Both teams were successful with putting the bat on the ball throughout the game. Davis Jr. was walked and able to give the Bulldogs their first base runner of the inning.

Following the Davis Jr. walk, Stogsdill was hit by a pitch and senior infielder Adrian Santillan hit a single to load the bases with one out.

Gridley senior outfielder Cesario Villalobos struck a 1-2 pitch to right field and the ball dropped into the outfield. Davis Jr. scored easily from third and Stogsdill raced home to end the game.

On top of the league title, it was senior day and the first victory for the Bulldogs over Las Plumas since the 2021 season. 

Villalobos expressed to the Herald that it was a breath of fresh air and a great feeling to see the hard work the senior class has done to pay off and be a BVL champion.

Gridley had their final game of the season this past Wednesday at Wheatland, and the seedings for the CIF Northern Section playoffs are scheduled to be today, May 3, according to the NS website.

The Bulldogs were in the top spot of the NSCIF Division III playoff points as of Sunday, April 29. 

Gridley shortstop Gus Stogsdill

 Gridley junior shortstop Gus Stogsdill (3) scores the winning run in the Bulldogs’ 7-6 win over Las Plumas on Friday, April 26, to walk-off the game.